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Wisconsin's GOP-led Legislative Accomplishments

With the recall elections looming on the horizon, it would be beneficial for the six Republican's fighting for their jobs to start touting all the achievements that they, under the leadership of Governor Scott Walker, have accomplished in just a few short months.

The legislation that has passed has made many Wisconsites very happy.   Some of these items were long overdue - like Voter I.D., concealed carry, and other laws that have helped get our state on the road back to prosperity, business and job growth, and lower taxes.  WOW! 

Rather than allow the Dems to buy votes (free BBQ ribs anyone? - guess lefties are shying away from passing out cigarettes this time around!) against Republican Senators like Alberta Darling, voters should be focused on how the Republicans are making life better all around for Wisconsinites.  Free BBQ ribs and a free shuttle bus ride to vote early are short-lived perks.  Let's look at the long term solutions that the Republican legislators have provided the hard working people of Wisconsin.  We need to reward our Republican legislators for doing the will of the voters and allow them to keep their well-deserved jobs.  (At the same time, let's see to it that the few Democratic politicians up for recall - who fled the state like irresponsible, pouty children refusing to do their jobs - are sent packing!)   

Let's highlight the following:

A BUSY SIX MONTHS   (from the office of Senator Glenn Grothman, R-District 20):

The GOP-led Legislature Has Accomplished a Great Deal Since January

Among other things, the Legislature and Governor Walker have:

Passed a state budget (2011 Act 32) on time, without tax increases, that leaves Wisconsin in the black for the first time in over a decade:

  • Turned a $3 billion deficit into a $300 million surplus
  • Instituted the first permanent property tax cap in our state’s history
  • Cut bonding (state borrowing) by nearly 20 percent
  • Cut more than 1,000 government jobs, including 735 long-term vacancies
  • Enacted sweeping business tax reforms that will save Wisconsin’s job creators over   $130 million a year when fully implemented.

Results:

  • In the first 6 months of 2011, Wisconsin showed job growth more than twice the national rate
  • 88% of Wisconsin businesses say the state is on the right track, up from 10% a year ago
  • 53% of businesses of all sizes predict they will add jobs and increase wages in the next 12 months1

The Budget Repair Bill (2011 Act 10) gave schools and other local governments the tools to control their budgets without sacrificing services:

  • MacIver Institute: Wisconsin Schools Already In Line to Save Hundreds of Millions of Dollars2;
  • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Most state school districts dodge layoffs, cuts – some districts hiring new teachers for the upcoming academic year3. 

 Other Legislative Successes So Far:

  • Protected our votes by requiring a picture I.D. at the polls (2011 Act 23)
  • Became the 49th U.S. state to recognize its citizens’ Second Amendment rights to carry concealed weapons (2011 Act 35)
  • Created a commission on Waste, Fraud, and Abuse that has already reported a potential $260 million in savings (Executive Order)
  • Limited manufacturer liability only to those products they actually produced (2011 Act 2)
  • Created a state tax credit for Health Savings Accounts (2011 Act 1)
  • Passed legislation requiring a 2/3 super majority vote to raise income or sales tax rates unless a statewide referendum supports the increases (2011 Act 9)
  • Repealed higher auto insurance requirements enacted in the 2009 budget (2011 Act 14)
  • Expanded the prohibition against tax money being used to subsidize abortion (2011 Act 32)
  • Repealed in-state tuition for illegal immigrants (2011 Act 32)
  • Repealed a mandate on local law enforcement to collect racial data during traffic stops (2011 Act 29)
  • Expanded School Choice to Racine and potentially Green Bay (2011 Act 32)
  • Required a successful drug test in order to receive unemployment benefits 2011 (2011 Act 32)
  • Wisconsin paid off its $60 million debt owed to Minnesota under the former tax reciprocity agreement between the states (2011 Act 32)
  • Wisconsin paid back the $200 million from Gov. Doyle’s unconstitutional raid of the Patients Compensation Fund (2011 Act 32)

Looking forward to the next six months! Here are some of the issues I (Senator Grothman) will be working on:

  • Welfare Reform
  • Reining in divisive Affirmative Action programs
  • Giving Parents More Options in Education
  • Growing jobs by reining in excessive regulation
  • Tort reform
  • Restoring Parents’ Rights

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Footnotes:

1 http://www.jsonline.com/business/123511849.html

2 http://maciverinstitute.com/2011/07/wisconsin-schools-already-in-line-to-save-hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars-through-newly-negotiated-teacher-contracts/

3 http://www.jsonline.com/news/education/125696138.html

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